HADLEY, Mass. – Williams senior catcher Lexi Curt (Moorpark, Calif.) repeats as the NESCAC Softball Player of the Year, as voted on by the league’s coaches. She is the first player in league history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year honors. Curt is the fourth player from Williams to earn the honor, joining Joey Ly (2009), Allison Hart (2012), and Erica Li (2016) and 2018 marks the third consecutive season an Eph has earned the award. Curt led the league in home runs (13), RBIs (45) and slugging percentage (.915), while owning the second-best batting average (.427). Her three-run home run in the top of the seventh of Game 7 of the NESCAC Championship propelled Williams to the NESCAC title. Curt earns her fourth All-NESCAC honor, repeating as a First Team selection, after being named to the Second Team in 2015 and 2016.
• Williams had the most All-NESCAC selections with six, followed by Amherst with five. Tufts and Bowdoin each had three players recognized.
• 11 players are multiple All-NESCAC honorees, including six on the First Team.
• An All-NESCAC First Team selection, Bowdoin senior Claire McCarthy (Mercer Island, Wash.) is the first Polar Bear to earn the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honor and the first catcher to garner the award in league history. McCarthy leads the NESCAC in hits (52) and ranks fourth in the league in RBIs (33). In the field, she threw out six runners in nine stolen base attempts against her and contributed 21 assists.
• Tufts first-year pitcher Kristi Van Meter (Amston, Conn.) is the NESCAC Rookie of the Year and an All-NESCAC First Team selection. She is the eighth Jumbo to garner the award, joining Courtney Bongiolatti (2002), Danielle Lopez (2005), Casey Sullivan (2007), Izzie Santone (2008), Jo Clair (2011), Allyson Fournier (2012), and teammate Raven Fournier (2015). Van Meter led Tufts in the circle, working 109 innings and posted a 1.16 ERA with 119 strikeouts. She enters the NCAA Tournament with 14 wins and one save.
• Amherst rookie catcher RonnieMarie Falasco (Broomall, Pa.) is one of two first-years on the All-NESCAC First Team. She has had an immediate impact for the Mammoths, leading the team in hitting (.415), slugging percentage (.846), on-base percentage (.500), home runs (6), and doubles (10).
• Tufts senior Raven Fournier (Springfield, Mass.) is on the All-NESCAC First Team for the fourth year in a row. A catcher and the 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, she is batting .393, while slugging .573 with a .542 on-base percentage. Fournier has 23 RBIs and scored 29 runs. She also owns a .989 fielding percentage for the NCAA-bound Jumbos.
• Sophomore Melanie Mandell (Harrison, N.Y.) returns to the All-NESCAC First Team for the second straight year. She led Middlebury and ranked fourth among the NESCAC leaders with a .414 batting average and a .778 slugging percentage. She led the Panthers in hits (41), RBIs (31), home runs (7) and runs (27). Mandell belted out a league-high 15 doubles and also made six assists from the outfield.
• Junior Mackenzie Murphy (Diablo, Calif.) of Williams is a First Team selection for the third straight year. She ranks third in the conference in hitting (.423), is slugging (.788) and has recorded 29 RBIs. The 2016 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year owns a 14-1 record in the circle with a 1.90 ERA in 84.2 innings of work entering the NCAA Tournament.
• Bowdoin senior Lauren O’Shea (West Roxbury, Mass.) earns her first All-NESCAC honor. An infielder, she led the Polar Bears to the NESCAC Championship Game with a walk-off hit in a win over Amherst in Game 5. She hit .388 and slugged .672 with 27 RBIs and 41 runs scored, while also stealing 19 bases.
• Senior Samantha Siciliano (Chatsworth, Calif.), a utility player for Tufts, is hitting .400 and slugging .648 with four home runs. The first-time All-NESCAC First Team honoree has scored 25 runs, driven in 21 runs and is tied for the league lead in triples (5) as Tufts heads into NCAA Tournament action.
• Junior Lorena Ukanwa (Morgan Hill, Calif.) leads NESCAC pitchers in strikeouts per seven innings (9.65) and was undefeated in the circle against conference opponents for Amherst. An All-NESCAC Second Team selection a year ago, she is 16-1 on the season with 137 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA for the Mammoths who were selected for the NCAA Tournament.
• Williams sophomore Rebecca Duncan (Simi Valley, Calif.), the 2017 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is the 2018 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year and a First Team selection. She is the third Eph to earn the honor joining Clara Hurd (2004, 2005, 2006) and current teammate Mackenzie Murphy (2016). The No. 1 pitcher for the Ephs this season, she owns a 1.72 ERA to go along with 121 strikeouts in 114 innings in the circle. At the plate, Duncan is batting .434 with 27 RBIs and 29 runs scored. Duncan was also a First Team selection last season.
• Bowdoin head coach Ryan Sullivan was selected as the NESCAC Coach of the Year by his peers. He earns the honor for the first time and is the first Bowdoin coach to garner the accolade. Sullivan led the Polar Bears to the NESCAC Championship Game and an overall record of 31-12 in his 14th season at the helm.
Softball All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Lexi Curt, Williams
Pitcher of the Year: Rebecca Duncan, Williams
Defensive Player of the Year: Claire McCarthy, Bowdoin
Rookie of the Year: Kristi Van Meter, Tufts
Coach of the Year: Ryan Sullivan, Bowdoin